A Case of “Blogger’s Block”

writersblock

I don’t know if you’ve felt the momentum of my blog posts teetering off, but in all honestly, I’m going through a bit of “blogger’s block”. Don’t get me wrong, I still love blogging and discovering green beauty products, but I’ve just been feeling a major void in my motivation to write blog posts. Some days, I’ll type up full blog posts but never post them. I have memory cards full of photos I’ve taken only to never edit them and eventually, delete them all. While other days, I can’t even look at my laptop.

It’s true I have a lot going on in my life right now (grad school, job searching, and just 3 months until my wedding), but there’s probably something a bit bigger looming overhead compared to all of these little things.

Am I feeling uninspired by the content of my blog? Maybe. Does the perfectionist in me make completing a simple blog post spiral into a never-ending process? Yes. Am I starting to feel defeated by the ability of other bloggers to post new content more often than me and constantly churn out insanely magazine-worthy photos? Definitely. Do I feel extreme guilt and shame as untested products pile up and I have to tell brands that I still have not tried out their products yet? More often than not.

But I think the main source of my lack of motivation lies in the realization that blogging seems to have become more and more of a commercial marketing scheme for many companies and bloggers rather than for pure creativity.

I used to feel such a positive energy of conversation and community among the blogosphere. Now, it mostly feels less authentic and vibrant to me. I find myself skimming through blogs more and feeling less than inspired by the writing, or lack thereof for a majority of them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m feeling a bit lost. I want my content to inspire others to live a healthier, more conscious lifestyle and to provide a unique insight on certain topics. Sure, I still love writing about beauty and skincare and I think I’ve done that well, but I also really want to provide content on other topics as well not only here on the blog but also in my freelance writing life.

Bri, the writer behind one of my favorite design blogs, Design Love Fest, also recently wrote about feeling the same way and how she’s transitioning. She’s trying to focus on redirecting her blog back towards the raw, freeform, less edited content that made it popular in the first place. So far, her new posts look and feel more authentic and inspiring.

Is it just the season of change in my life? Could it be the way the world of blogging is evolving?

Hopefully, this bout of “blogger’s block” will fade and I’ll feel reinvigorated, but for now, just know that I’m trying my best and trekking on through the muck.

What do you think? What kinds of things would you like to see more of or less of on Plein Vanity? If you notice anything you do not appreciate or feel does not fit into the scheme of this blog, please call me out on it. A little healthy discussion never hurt.

As always, thank you for reading this tiny, little blog of mine.

Much love,
Kasey

 

Image source: Bloglovin’

26 Comments

  1. Sarita Coren March 11, 2016

    AH! We need to catch up in person. I’d love to discuss this. Truth is, I’ve been revisiting my “why” for blogging and also want to steer away from purely product posts and don’t always know how (or when, as it seems I’m forever in catch up wanting to write about the brands that I’m using and loving)! It’s not feeling great any more to only discuss products. I encourage conscious consumption but that’s not what I’m putting out there! While I love sharing brands and products that I love that can benefit people for many reasons, there is so much more to life and living a clean lifestyle. Thanks for bringing this up, Kasey. When are we meeting? Hoboken juice soon?

    Reply
    • Ru (@shortsmallsweet) March 11, 2016

      That’s exactly me recently too! Although you probably expressed it in a more gentle way than I did in my recent post, haha. Authenticity is of utmost importance to me as well, but it’s sad/ disheartening to see how things are more focused on $$, advertising, ways to get more free samples… I hate to say it, but it’s funny how my 19-year-old self was right — I stopped blogging for a while back then because I saw exactly what it was going to turn into what “blogging” is now. I’m with Sarita; I definitely do not want to come across as simply pushing people to buy more products they don’t need, but at the same time wondering how/what else we can do to share our love and support for brands/healthy living.

      These past few months when I was in my rut, I actually contemplated giving up blogging altogether, but I definitely do not want my ties to green beauty to end just like that — see what wonderful people and friends I have encountered so far! I hope you will be able to reconcile your feelings soon enough. <3

      Reply
      • Sarita Coren March 11, 2016

        I’m going to raise this topic for discussion in the Green Beauty Insiders group. Come join and let’s see what people have to say. Feel free to post your blogs. I’ll use Kasey’s as the launching post for discussion and would love for your posts to get attention too, Ru and anyone else. So great that you are raising the bar! XO

        Reply
      • Kasey March 12, 2016

        Ru, I enjoyed reading your blog post as well and I think this is definitely an important conversation the blogging community needs. (And I don’t think your post was harsh at all! haha) I can really relate to your sentiment that sometimes, it feels like we’re simply pushing brands or products at people rather than sharing the larger reasonings behind why we stand by this movement and this lifestyle. I am so glad that you are not giving up blogging because you have such a strong voice and talent that is needed! Now I’m realizing that maybe these blogging ruts are good things, we’re starting a deeper conversation and sparking energy back into the community. xo

        Reply
    • Kasey March 12, 2016

      We are definitely on the same wavelength, Sarita! I also feel as if I’m always trying to catch up on writing about brands but there is so much more to blogging than product posts. And I agree that there’s more to share about a conscious, clean lifestyle. I think a Hoboken juice hangout is definitely in order! We need to have a good, long chat in-person 🙂
      xo

      Reply
  2. bohochicmeetsorganic March 11, 2016

    Hello Kasey, Hope all is going great between everything . I feel you totally and for those of us that we been doing this for a long while we are feeling the change the direction that Blogging is taking special in are green community that is becoming more commercial ! Lately been discuss this topic with many in how to over come this phase & refocus . Sarita & you are on point their is so much more to clean living that is not been touch on !

    we need a meeting ladies ;), let me know

    Reply
    • Kasey March 12, 2016

      I totally agree, Yeiza! I guess this really is something our community is feeling as a whole. We really do need to hangout with everyone again soon! Hope all is well <3

      Reply
  3. the brunette ecoholic March 11, 2016

    I so relate to this right now! I feel like all I have been doing are product reviews, and as much as I love testing and sharing new green beauty products, I’m getting a little..dare I say, bored with it at times?! I have sooooo many other things I want to talk about and I feel like those things keep getting pushed aside and it makes me sad. I’m so glad you posted this! 🙂 xo

    Reply
    • Kasey March 12, 2016

      Yes, exactly! It’s not only boredom but the feeling that I need to keep up with posting solely product reviews that has been making me feel uninterested and sad as well. For me, it’s always been partly scary to write out of form, where I don’t really know how readers are going to react. But now I think it’s the right time to shake it up a bit and strive for diverse content. It’s nice to know that others are feeling this way too and maybe this is a good step towards a shift in “real” blogging again! Thanks, Sabrina 🙂 xo

      Reply
  4. Annie March 11, 2016

    Excellent post – thank you so much for being so honest and open with your thoughts, experiences and frustrations. I enjoyed every word and can relate to all of it. My blog is almost two years old, and I’ve experienced everything you mentioned – even though I don’t have anywhere near the following you have (I actually don’t have any following outside my family, LOL) – or have even been considered a “real” green beauty blogger or embraced by the green beauty blogging community. I just took a 2-month sabbatical from blogging, and only my mom noticed when I started up again. 😉 I still consider calling it quits on an almost daily basis, which is why your post is so timely and meaningful to me. Maybe you just need a sabbatical. If your heart isn’t in it right now, follow your heart – your inner spiritual guide. Truth is found within. On some level, we all know this, which is why we get burned out when focused solely or too much on the exterior. You have some very exciting things happening in your life right now – enjoy them! Good luck with everything, and my positive thoughts are with you. 🙂

    Reply
    • Kasey March 12, 2016

      Annie, thank you for such an encouraging comment! 🙂 You are right, it is always good to take a small step back to gain inspiration and motivation again. I know I’ve been trying to get back in touch with my feelings and intent for this blog. Thanks for your support and positive thoughts! Our community needs many different voices and I’m glad you are still blogging as well 🙂

      Reply
  5. Great post Kasey! Like everyone else, I can definitely relate – I’ve lost a lot of steam over on my blog the last several months too and have been putting out less content. For me, it’s been a lot of general life confusion, plus falling into the comparison trap, but I’m consciously trying to redirect all that energy back into my own stuff now. The good part of all this is taking the time to step back and reevaluate — that’s never a bad thing, right?

    Blogging has certainly evolved in the last few years and I think the green beauty sphere has officially caught up to the rest of beauty blogging with regards to commercialization. I too miss the “rawness” and authenticity of old school blogging. There are still blogs I read and love (like yours!) but there are also a lot I skip over these days. I think everyone has a right to monetize as they see fit, and I don’t apologize for earning some money off my blog, but I never want that to change the content or overall feel of what I’m putting out!

    Maybe writing this post is the beginning of the end of your block? Take the time you need and I hope you’ll be inspired to come back – refreshed + better than ever 🙂

    Reply
    • Kasey March 12, 2016

      I agree, Caitie! I guess taking a step back to refocus and reevaluate is not a bad thing at all. It’s been good to raise an issue for discussion not only for our community but because it’s also helping me become inspired and energized to take my writing to a deeper level. I like that you brought up the point of monetizing blogs. I agree that bloggers do have the right to monetize their blogs but should do so in a way that does not detract from the authenticity or voice of the content. I never want my content or voice to change in an unauthentic way either!
      Thanks for your input, Caitie! I always love reading your blog too 🙂 I hope you will also be inspired and motivated in your writing! xo

      Reply
  6. Very nice post indeed! …I see totallly where your are coming from!
    Sometimes, a well needed pause is what I ( we) need to really recharge and feel inspired.
    . It is your blog and you need to decide what best for your and your readers is. And by the way, your blog is not tiny and little. It is super and I love reading it! x

    Reply
    • Kasey March 12, 2016

      Aw, thanks Audrey! 🙂 You are right, it is only normal to need a time to recharge and be inspired. I need to listen to my heart and let the words flow naturally. I enjoy reading your blog as well! xo

      Reply
  7. Pauline March 13, 2016

    Hi Kasey,

    I’ve been a fan of your blog and have noticed that there has not been many posts recently. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Here’s some feedback from a non-blogger. I don’t blog myself but read A LOT (including the ones that commented above). I started transitioning into green beauty a little over a year ago and it’s still a work in process. I had no idea that “natural” beauty and makeup products existed and immediately resonated with the idea and purpose of the companies that create/sell healthy products. Googling led to finding SO MANY blogs (my feedly has almost 100 beauty blogs!) that, at first, were super helpful. Learning about how bad conventional brands are, what “greenwashing” is, etc. was so interesting. But recently, I find myself skimming the blogs too. I definitely agree that it seems like all anyone writes about are reviews. Your line that blogging seems to be more of a “commercial marketing scheme for many companies and bloggers rather than for pure creativity” really nails it.

    The #1 frustrating and annoying thing I noticed is when bloggers all post about the same product at the same time!!! Going through feedly, blog after blog has the same product and of course, it is the most amazing product they have ever used, blah, bah blah. I end up just checking off the blog without reading the post because I feel I cannot trust any review when everyone is posting the same pictures and writing the same thing. Unfortunately, all the blogs look the same to me.

    I understand that a brand reaches out to multiple bloggers to test a product and after awhile, a review comes but it is hard to take anyone seriously when it looks like a blogger is just promoting the brand/product because they got it for free or are friends with the owner, etc. And yes, I see disclaimers at the end where “opinions are my own, was/was not compensated etc”, but again, everyone has the SAME language that they copy/paste from prior post reviews. Blogs are starting to look the same to me because it is always the same brands, online stores, friends, etc that they are talking about. Yes, it’s a small community compared to the big brands and everyone needs support but it just seems like bloggers are just pushing for their friends.

    A lot of content does not seem authentic. I rarely read a review where it sways toward the negative. And again, I’ve seen the disclaimers where someone won’t do a negative review because they don’t want to hurt the company by saying something bad about them if a product doesn’t work for them so they just avoid reviewing it all together. I find it hard to take a blogger seriously if you don’t show the positives and negatives. I don’t mean a bashing review but if something doesn’t work for you, then of course it’s understandable that you wouldn’t be fond of it. Withholding this opinion doesn’t do your readers a service if you’re more concerned about the company’s reputation.

    Another problem I have with regards to authenticity is the “insanely magazine-worthy photos”. Again, I understand this is the social media world we live in and bloggers depend heavily on Instagram and pretty pictures are definitely more attention-grabbing. But it doesn’t reflect real life. I do not use my oils surrounded by flower petals perfectly scattered about with the sun shining and ribbons, bows and props around me. And I know it took 50+ shots of you re-arranging and re-arranging the items to get it. Just like what ad agencies.

    I don’t mean this to be a rant against bloggers. I have found them to be invaluable with information and background about green beauty and inspiring. But since I’m still new to this, I want more of the whys and hows than “use this because it’s a life-changer”. I think bloggers need to realize that readers such as myself want to cut through the BS and want you to keep it real. I feel like what a lot of drives bloggers is to gain new readers (obviously, I get it, this is your business so that is where the “marketing” type posts and pictures come in) but you also have to keep the ones you have.

    There is so much more I can discuss but I feel like I went on too long here 🙂 Thanking you for writing this and starting this discussion.

    Reply
    • Kasey March 14, 2016

      Hi Pauline,
      Thank you for such a thoughtful and thorough response! I very much appreciate knowing what you are interested in reading and your sentiments on this issue. You touched on many issues that are important and necessary to discuss. As a blogger, I want to continue to use my voice to promote a conscious, sustainable lifestyle and educate others about it. I hope to continue to shed light on things like non-toxic cosmetics, sustainable fashion, and holistic health/wellbeing to readers such as yourself who are interested in learning more. Having a blog can be a really cool journey between a blogger and readers where both parties learn and develop along the way. So it’s helpful to know what exactly people are interested in reading, especially since there is so much stuff out there that can distract from the helpful, good content. Thanks for expressing your opinion and thoughts! And thank you for reading my blog! 🙂

      Reply
  8. kate March 14, 2016

    Hi Kasey,

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. I am a really new blogger- I do review products but at super sloth pace because I do test things out and am trying hard to be as honest and authentic as possible. It’s been hard because I feel like for every 1 review I do, there’s 1000 more and yes, people are reviewing products left and right at lightning speed. The pressure to keep up is daunting. The pressure to post perfect pictures is daunting. Everything ig and blog is very visual. Hard to keep up when you’re just starting off and all of this is simply a hobby. I can’t keep up to be honest, I have 2 kids, a house to run, a dog to take care of, a husband to feed and I just wanted my blog to be an escape to talk about things I like.

    I don’t get sponsored, endorsements, or free stuff at all. I did win a box but I haven’t even reviewed it because I’m still testing out a cleanser (6 weeks into it). But I buy everything myself and at one point, I felt like I needed to buy stuff just to “post”. That ended quickly when I caught myself doing this after a post and felt horrified that I felt like I needed to do this.

    I agree with Pauline, above, in everything she said about blogs. And this is exactly my own personal issue too with blogs. So, I try to write the kind of blog I’d love to read. But, people want quick and simple and very few actually take the time to read through much which is a waste because a lot of “wordy” blogs have a great deal of information. I don’t like the marketing part either, I’d rather read about the experience and that experience needs to be more than a few days.

    Today, I felt the need to recharge and just take a step back. I wanted to quit many times like Ru. Why do I need this blog in life and what is with this race to gain all the followers. If I die, do I want someone to say, kate was cool bc she had 200 followers and like 50 ppl liked her pictures. Man! There has to be more to life and sometimes when you’re trying to focus on a blog/niche, it can be suffocating. It’s hard to be inspired and really hard to be “creative” when you feel like well..I’m not really sharing anything new that this person probably already saw on their feed like 780 times already.

    Keeping it real is another thing. Blog posts and even people ..how real are they until you even talk to them? It feels like some get caught up with gaining likes and followers that they lose focus on what matters- and that’s original content. But, sometimes original content gets you no where because like a few other commenters said, they see the same thing over and over…and those are the posts that get popularity. I mean, I love some of the same stuff we keep seeing but that about it that we haven’t already seen?? I am guilty of this and it’s out of the “pressure” of “needing” to post” so you don’t “lose followers.”UGH. I cant be in this race when I have to change diapers. =/

    Definitely need to recharge, rethink things, and come back to why anyone starts a blog to start with. Thanks for opening this discussion. I’d like to hear what you make of all this once you’d had a chance to let everything sink in. It’s always good to see how the pros handle this stuff because as a newb- sometimes it’s like I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

    Reply
    • Kasey March 29, 2016

      Thank you, Kate! I really appreciate your comment and perspective. There is definitely so much more to blogging than it used to be especially, what people actually see. I agree with you that sometimes blogging can feel like a silly race for having more followers or more influence but we all definitely have to remember what our original intentions are. I’ve definitely come to a point where I’m re-discovering my motivation and intent for this blog. It is difficult to be above all the pressure and influence of others but it’s definitely part of the process and I believe those with true, genuine voices will rise above the noise.
      I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, it is well-written and informative! I hope you’ll keep up the great work! xo

      Reply
  9. lizthegreenspirit March 15, 2016

    Thank you for this great article Kasey. I can also relate to a lot of things you wrote so eloquently. I took the decision to avoid posting anything until I’m feeling completely satisfied, even if it means having three to four posts a month, because I want to hold on to that feeling of excitement I had when I first got into blogging. As the green beauty scene grows, so does the amount of green beauty bloggers, brands, websites and so on. Of course, one can’t help but feel the pressure to stay up to date with everything, but in the end your voice is what makes you unique. Your blog, your rules. Do what you’re instinct tells you to. While it’s wonderful and essential to connect with readers, I don’t believe that they should drastically influence your blog direction. Write the content you’d like to see, just like this fantastic post. As you can tell from the comments, there are quite many people that relate to what you’re writing. Taking time off to reevaluate things is completely natural, we’re not robots, and to some extend we’ve got to refuel. Sending you lots of positive vibes Kasey 🙂 Liz x

    ps. I still think you’re Superwoman to be able to juggle grad school, job search, the blog and a wedding, go you!

    Reply
    • Kasey March 29, 2016

      Thanks for your lovely comment, Liz! That is all great advice and a useful piece of motivation I need to keep reminding myself: write the content you’d like to see. It’s so good to know there are so many other members of our community like you who feel the same and are so supportive. As another blogger I admire, your comment truly made me smile 🙂 xo

      Reply
  10. Alyse March 15, 2016

    Hi Kasey,

    I’ve been a reader of your blog for about six months now and, first and foremost, I hope you don’t give up. You have a great style and voice and I thoroughly enjoy your posts. A couple of thoughts on things that I think many readers would love to see and that could be great posts:

    1. 100% agree with Pauline’s comment that it often seems EVERY blogger is reviewing the same new product at the same time. Today’s a great example: four different green beauty blogs in my Instagram feed currently posted the TNB eye serum and several have posted about it in the last week on their blogs. Overload! I’d love to see more blog reviews of new products several months into things. Was it good enough to become a permanent part of your routine? How does it work in a different season when your skin is more/less dry, congested, or sensitive?

    2. On the theme of conscious consumption, lots of fashion blogs have highlighted the idea of a capsule wardrobe and what pieces they chose. I think we need more of this for green beauty. I work in the green beauty industry too (on the retail side) and I constantly get new product for free or I get intrigued and buy it. Lately I’ve been thinking more about the idea of a capsule wardrobe for my skin. What are the basic steps in my routine and what are my holy grail products in each one that I can use in any season? Why are they my faves and what do they do for my skin type? Then, using that as a base, what products do I find are helpful to rotate in and put based on seasons? I think this kind of post would be great to see more of because bloggers all have different skin so there would naturally be a lot of variation.

    3. Borrowing another idea from fashion blogs, what about a beauty stash re-style. Are there products you stopped using but found a new way to incorporate into your routine (e.g. I just discovered that adding two drops of May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew, which I hadn’t used in a while, to my Dr. Alkaitis toner makes a kick-ass serum for when my skin is dry but still breaking out)?

    Just a few thoughts. I hope you only keep blogging if it brings you joy and doesn’t become source of stress or worry. But, on the other hand, just know that your posts are a joy to read and your perspective is valued!

    Reply
    • Alyse March 15, 2016

      *rotate in and out (typing on iPads is hard!)

      Reply
    • Kasey March 16, 2016

      Alyse, thank you so much for your comment! Reading it truly made me smile. Thank you for sharing your opinion and for reading my blog 🙂

      Your insight on blog post ideas are so appreciated as well! Your comment about wanting to know about products as a permanent part of a skincare or beauty routine definitely resonates with me. It is true that so many bloggers post about the launch or introduction of a brand or products and few take the time to continue to write about how these are regularly incorporated into daily routines. I would love to focus more on this.

      I also love the idea of a beauty/skincare capsule and re-style! I can definitely relate to “shopping my stash” and re-discovering my love for an older product or finding a better use of something later on. Thanks again for sharing your perspective on this issue and for your support! xo

      Reply
  11. Wonderlusting Lynda March 20, 2016

    I’ve been a long time reader and hope you keep doing what you do. Being somewhat eclectic I follow blogs in many different sectors and there certainly seems to be a blogosphere vicious circle that happened to general beauty blogs and is now hitting green beauty. I think ultimately bloggers need to decide if they’re writing to serve readers or brands. It is entirely normal that if a new product launches, just like a new book or film, it’s what everyone will be talking about. However when 10 reviews of the same new product are published on the same day using pretty much the same wording that’s a marketing campaign. Marketing is not a dirty word but when that is ALL content seems to be it’s a turn off. Constant giveaways (follow follow follow) are now bombarding too. Ultimately readers will decide who they trust. I think the fact that green beauty is now going “mainstream” has an impact too. I think you should write about whatever you feel like!

    Reply
    • Kasey March 29, 2016

      I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while too, Lynda so I really appreciate your comment! 🙂 You are so right, and I think the focus goes back again on writing content that you would like to read yourself. People can get so caught up in the marketing and promotions that blogging is not what it was meant for anymore. I’m slowly getting inspired again and feeling better about my writing decisions. It’s a hard step but I think I’m also getting better at blocking out all the unimportant junk out there and just focusing on doing my own thing. Thanks again for reading and for your support! xo

      Reply

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